Find out more about snowdrop expert Val Bourne

January 18 2020 | Garden

Garden writer Val Bourne will be talking to visitors to this year’s Snowdrop Walk event about the Spring bulb on Saturday 8 February at 1pm.

Val’s free talk entitled The Wonderful World of Galanthophilia will explain her passion for the plant and her determination to travel miles for a rare snowdrop.

A celebrated garden writer, photographer and lecturer, Val Bourne has won multiple awards including Journalist of the Year and Columnist of the Year. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph and Country Life magazine and she gardens on the windswept Cotswolds.

With 20 wild species and over 1,000 cultivars grown world-wide, these tiny white flowers have attracted hordes of fans and collectors as well as being named one of the hardiest of plants.

Val’s love for snowdrops began in 1997 on a perfect February morning in the Oxfordshire garden of plant collector Primrose Warburg.

She says: “I fell in love in that garden. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the sun was warm for the first time in a long time, and there were crocus and snowdrops spangling an entire bank in pristine condition – it flicked the galanthophile switch for me.”

Val says that her favourites include; “Lady Beatrix Stanley, a double that bulks up really well is really good value and doubles always look ‘open’. The Greatorex Doubles with Shakespearian names like ‘Titania’ and ‘Hippolyta’ are strong tall hybrids with dark-green markings.”

“If you’re looking for singles then the impressive Galanthus elwesii ‘Mrs Macnamara’ flowers around Christmas time,” adds Val.

A heavenly carpet of snowdrops will provide a magical trail for visitors to follow at Hever Castle from 8 February as part of Snowdrop Walk.

Around 80,000 snowdrop bulbs have been planted in the Gardens over the past few years including a mix of single and double snowdrops, interspersed with some unusual varieties such as the yellow tipped ‘Wendy’s Gold’, a giant galanthus called ‘Colossus’ which at 9 inches is one of the tallest snowdrops you can find and Galanthus ‘Green Brush’ with its unusual green tipped flowers.

Book tickets for Snowdrop Walk here